Methamphetamine is a schedule 2 Central Nervous Stimulant as classified by the federal government. The effects of Meth run much deeper than the surface. If the outside of the above man’s body looks this way, how does the inside look? We will explore that issue right now!
The chronic dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, insomnia, paranoia, anorexia and lack of personal hygiene are just a few of the common side effects of this horrible, man-made drug. Psychosis, severe agitation and even death are also possible outcomes.
His hollow eyes sunken in a leathery mask that used to be his face…a big part of his personal identity. His soul has been stolen by a combination of volatile chemicals. Toxic horror in crystal-rock form that robbed him of everything!
What makes methamphetamine such an attractive high? Meth users report that after taking the drug they experience a sudden “rush” of pleasure or a prolonged sense of euphoria, as well as increased energy, focus, confidence, sexual prowess and feelings of desirability. However, after that first try, users require more and more of the drug to get that feeling again, and maintain it. With repeated use, methamphetamine exacts a toll on the mind and body, robbing users of their physical health and cognitive abilities, their libido and good looks, and their ability to experience pleasure.
3 things can happen for a meth user:
1. They go to rehab and get clean, which, Meth has a very high relapse rate. 88% of meth addicts relapse within the first three years of sobriety.
2. They die from heart, liver, kidney and/or multiple organ failure. The skin is actually the largest ORGAN you have. When it is compromised, infection sets in, especially when your immune system is beat down. Meth users are also at higher risk for violent deaths including suicide and murder.
3. The meth user goes to prison for a long time.
The euphoric rush from the forced release of Dopamine in your brain is great the first time…then, like anything else, you are chasing that first high. The first high is similar to losing your virginity, once you lose it, it’s gone. You can try to emulate the first time…again, and again, and again…before you know it, your dead, in prison or, with any luck, you get clean. The odds are against the users in this article. They have all been ravaged and raped by the drug. Skin tattered and torn, bleeding and infected wounds all over the body, Hepatitis C or HIV from sharing needles… It’s all an uphill battle…if that hill is Mt. Everest!
Adora started out a healthy looking 48-year-old woman and 5 years later, her life is in ruins and she is dying. She is dying from her addiction to methamphetamine. As she lays there, looking like a real-life-zombie from The Walking Dead, she is craving her next dose of venom! She is a complete slave to the evil drug. She will do anything to get the drug. Rob, lie, steal, cheat, prostitution…possibly physical violence…just to get the next dose of poison!
Do you want to hear something completely absurd? Medical Marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug, which makes it a more dangerous drug in the government’s eyes than methamphetamine!
Have you ever seen a marijuana user look like this…Maybe after 70 years! Hell, Willie Nelson looks better than these meth victims and he is twice their age!
We can’t rely on our government to educate our children. We have to educate them, constantly. A picture is worth a thousand words. Use these pictures and teach anybody you care about, that is at risk, about the tremendous dangers associated with this deadly drug!
Eventually, the neurotransmitter Dopamine, one of the “pleasure” neurotransmitters, is depleted and the Dopamine receptors in the body are destroyed. This, in turn, forces the addict to use more and more to chase that first magnificent high. That first high is just that…the first! No other highs will be as euphoric as the first high. This compounds the addicts problem and forces them to do more and more. Chronic users end up destroying their Dopamine receptors and depleting their Dopamine stores, leaving them unbearably depressed, so they lie, cheat, steal to get their next fix!
METH AND THE BRAIN
- Meth releases a surge of dopamine, causing an intense rush of pleasure or prolonged sense of euphoria.
- Over time, meth destroys dopamine receptors, making it impossible to feel pleasure.
- Although these pleasure centers can heal over time, research suggests that damage to users’ cognitive abilities may be permanent.
- Chronic abuse can lead to psychotic behavior, including paranoia, insomnia, anxiety, extreme aggression, delusions and hallucinations, and even death.
“There are a whole variety of reasons to try methamphetamine,” explains Dr. Richard Rawson, associate director of UCLA’s Integrated Substance Abuse Programs. “However, once they take the drug … their reasons are pretty much the same: They like how it affects their brains.” Meth users have described this feeling as a sudden rush of pleasure lasting for several minutes, followed by a euphoric high that lasts between six and 12 hours, and it is a result of the drug causing the brain to release excessive amounts of the chemical Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls pleasure. All drugs of abuse cause the release of Dopamine, even alcohol and nicotine, explains Rawson, “But methamphetamine produces the mother of all Dopamine releases.”
- “Meth mouth” is characterized by broken, discolored and rotting teeth.
- The drug causes the salivary glands to dry out, which allows the mouth’s acids to eat away at the tooth enamel, causing cavities.
- Teeth are further damaged when users obsessively grind their teeth, binge on sugary food and drinks, and neglect to brush or floss for long periods of time.
I am a registered nurse with many years of experience. I have cared for many people during my career. The saddest experiences in my nursing career, have to be working with addicts on the psychiatric floor at a local hospital. The unmitigated and utter hopelessness these people exhibit is nothing short of heart-wrenching. So much loss, grief, shame, pain and depression. I have taken care of an addict at the beginning of the week and read the person’s obituary at the end of the week. It is a very complicated relationship meth addicts develop with the drug. I have listened to countless addicts with HIV, Hepatitis C and many other diseases, tell me they are addicted to the needle also.
The needle is usually the last stop for meth addicts. If they don’t die from some type of blood infection, they end up rock bottom, and either go to jail, die or hopefully, go to rehab.
The bitter, dark truth about treatment is approximately 12% of meth addicts are sober after 3 years. 88% go back to using the powdered death.
article by Emery Myers RN, DON-CLTC
If you or someone you know needs help, additional information can be found here: www.methproject.org
For more detailed medical information: www.aafp.orgAll images in this article courtesy of Google Images.